About this Blog

This blog is aimed at those of us who want to keep up with the newest developments in evaluation, and who want to push its boundaries so that evaluation can contribute successfully to sustainable development worldwide.

The blog has a special focus on issues affecting the Global South.

It is here where it is most difficult to enable and sustain development; where the vibrancy and resilience of ecosystems and societies are most inspirational, yet the destruction the greatest; and where nature is at its most awe-inspiring and most devastating. It is here where good evaluation – from local to global level – can make the greatest difference.

At the moment I focus on six topics of interest:

Culture in evaluation. We not only have to respect and do our best to understand other cultures. We have to ask ourselves what evaluation would have looked like if it was invented in Africa, or in the East, or by indigenous tribes in other parts of the world.

Complexity, transformation and SDGs. Development in what I regard as the “SDG era” – even though this era is about much more than the Global Goals. But at last we acknowledge the need for a complexity lens on development, and on evaluation!

Private sector evaluation. We urgently need cross-fertilisation between the exciting efforts by the private sector to use evaluative practices, and the expertise of the evaluation profession. Both can benefit from exposure to the other. A lot.

Research evaluation. I have a PhD in (Ecological) Chemistry, and was a senior manager in a major university and science council in South Africa. Useful research, innovation and knowledge are imperative for sustained development. Evaluation can help enhance their impact.

The evaluation profession. Our obsession with “methods” and “tools” should be expanded to include an obsession with how to make the profession fulfil its inherent promise to make the world a better place.

(A hundred) tips for new evaluators. I have been a very fortunate evaluator. I keep on learning yet can also share many lessons. So can my many evaluation colleagues around the world. We plan to do so.

So the posts in each of these topics will capture my observations, and occasionally those of my colleagues, as I continue my work across four continents – standing sometimes in desperation, but mostly in awe at the wonder of our world, and at the challenges before us.